Spending time with loved ones is a great way to unwind. The best part? Unlike other gatherings that can require a lot of planning, an evening at home is simple. Pull out a board game, whip up some easy snacks and you’ve got yourself a fun family game night. Below are a few of our favorite ideas for making the night a success.
Make sure to check in advance how many players a game requires. If you only have three people and the game needs four, you’re in trouble. Also, consider the age of each member of your family and the decade the game was made. While some games are timeless—Scrabble, for example—others, like a Trivial Pursuit game from the 1980s, might not be much fun for younger players. Interactive games and those that inherently have a little healthy competition are always a hit. Games that don’t require boards, bells or whistles are also fun. Charades, for example, has been a parlor game since the 19th century. Originally played by English aristocracy, this game requires only the imaginations of its players.
Make your own games
If your family enjoys being crafty, making your own board games can be a lot of fun. A do-it-yourself checkerboard, for example, requires only small, wooden disks that can be picked up from your local craft store, as well as a couple of cloth napkins, painters tape, and paint.
Whereas most parties require a certain amount of food planning and preparation, a family game night can be as simple or as difficult as you make it. For an easy night, order pizza or your favorite take-out. Make sure to have your family’s favorite beverages on hand.
It can be fun, however, to prepare some simple foods with your loved ones. A big pasta dish with an accompanying green salad is a simple meal to make. You can also concentrate on finger foods. Local grocery stores have a number of ready-made appetizers that you can pop into the oven for a few minutes. Another option is to cut a vegetable or cheese platter. Also, make a few of your favorites such as stuffed mushrooms or buffalo wings.
Take a minute before your game night to look at the space where you’ll gather with your family. Is there enough seating for everyone? You’ll want to rearrange seating into a circle or semi-circular shape. If there aren’t enough chairs, pull cushions from the kitchen or patio to fashion some temporary make-shift seating. When there isn’t enough seating, little kids often are made to sit on the floor. You may want to pick up special plastic chairs just for them that can be tucked away in the garage or in storage after you’re done playing games for the night. Attending to the needs of the youngest members of your family will help them feel more engaged during game night.
Surprise your family members by making each of them a trophy. Attach a small, plastic trophy to the top of a candy jar. Paint the trophies the favorite colors of each family member, and then fill the jars with their favorite candy or other treats. Don’t forget to add a blue ribbon!
While game night is one of the easiest ways to unwind after a busy week, taking a few minutes to go the extra mile will make each member of your family feel comfortable and loved. Enjoy!
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